Wednesday, May 18, 2016
The decision expands the rights of parents to legal representation beyond cases of termination of parental rights or the appointment of a non-parent guardian. The decision establishes the right to counsel when the parent seeks to change an existing guardianship, revisiting the possibibilty of the restoration of full parental rights or at least a modification of an exisitng guardianship. The case sets out parameters for demonstrating the need for counsel and suggests specific guidelines for the lower court to consider to make the process of demonstrating need for counsel easier than what the Probate and Family Court had suggested.
The case advances the rights of litigants to appointed counsel in areas that have significant impact on their human rights and those of their families.
For more information on the case, read here